Sports

Boys Basketball: Raiders Beat North Hunterdon, 74-69; Advance in State Tournament

388892991dadc8fd9037_IMG_3920.JPG
​Tommy Drubulis hits a three pointer​ against North Hunterdon on Monday. Credits: Robert Fallo
671b1f3e5a97640f87bf_IMG_3929.JPG
​Nigel Nelson shoots a free throw. Credits: Robert Fallo
81e939aff953c3c82992_IMG_3918.JPG
​Cooper Heisey goes for a lay-up​. Credits: Robert Fallo
67a316ebff66668bc782_IMG_3889.JPG
Raider Nation. Credits: Robert Fallo
418f3dbf3dcedce3fcc1_IMG_3849.JPG
Pre-game. Credits: Robert Fallo
388892991dadc8fd9037_IMG_3920.JPG

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Uptempo offense from both Scotch Plains-Fanwood and North Hunterdon led to a last-minute bonanza as the Raiders' boys basketball team pulled out the victory, 74-69, at home Monday night, advancing to the second round of the state tournament.

The victory for the third-seeded Raiders over the 14th-seeded Lions seemed unclear until a pivotal play by junior Cooper Heisey. After a three for North, SPFHS inbounded the ball, looking to answer back to the Lions one-point lead. After a deflected pass to junior Dwight Laylor at halfcourt, Heisey burst through a couple of defenders to snatch the ball and penetrated into the paint. After being met once again by a Lion defender, Heisey ducked around him and stretched out for a reverse layup to give the Raiders the lead and the crowd a reason to leap from their seats in screams.

“We were down one and we needed a bucket and the whole game (the coaches) were telling me to go strong to the hoop and that’s what I did,” Heisey said.

Sign Up for E-News

“It was an unbelievable finish… We really worked on (layups) the past couple days and I’m just so glad (Cooper) made it. He deserves it, he works his butt off and it couldn’t have happened to a better kid,” SPFHS head coach Steve Siracusa said.

Although the Raiders ultimately handed the Lions a defeat, the contest seemed as though Scotch Plains-Fanwood would lock up the game before the first half after a 20-6 lead in the first quarter. But, a fast-paced North offense that would not let up on the boards found ways to claw back into the game, eventually getting the Raider halftime lead down to 41-31.

The third quarter continued to show the fight of the Lions, as North would use their high-pressured defense to end the period only down two to the Raiders at 52-50. The Raiders offensive ability was inexperienced to the defensive style the Lions were showing, causing SPFHS to take a different approach.

“We’re not used to playing that type of defense an entire game with the running and trapping but we played as a team more, made sure we got the extra passes and not try to get outside ourselves. We had some times where we slacked on it but I’m glad we got it together at the end,” Siracusa said.

In the fourth, the contest was tight, featuring multiple back and forth ‘and-1’ plays as well as three pointers to keep both teams in check. Until Heisey’s basket late in the quarter, both teams were trading baskets on every possession.

“Teams like that, it's never over. Their going to keep getting up their shots and need just a couple ones to go down to get back into the game. They had some great players, some great shooters,” Siracusa said.

The main contributors in the game for the Raiders were Heisey (12 points) and fellow junior Lamont Cruse (17 points). Both players established SPFHS’ ability to drive into the lane instead of settling for shots behind the arc.

As for the next matchup, Siracusa and his team are ready for Bridgewater-Raritan.

“Looking forward to just competing and playing as hard as we possibly can on Wednesday against whatever team we play, we know it's not going to be easy, but if we play together as a team and try our best I like our odds,” the coach said.

The Raiders will be at home against Bridgewater-Raritan at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

TAPintoSPF.net is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily paper. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Sinai or Sanctuary?

 

 

And in the beginning, G‑d was homeless, and so G‑d asked His people to set Him up with some digs. Where does it say that? Well, nowhere, actually. But it does say that G‑d instructed Moses to tell the people, “They shall make for Me a Sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.”

Now the question is, was G‑d really homeless? ...

Former Cranford Mayor Endorses Nick Scutari for Democratic Chair

February 17, 2018

Dear Editor:

Having Senator Scutari lead the (Democratic) party would certainly put Cranford in a good position for resolving the issues we face such as gun control, flood mitigation and public safety.

Union County is made up of urban and suburban communities, that we need to protect. The stronger our communities are, the stronger the diversity and our being connected will be.

Senator ...

Being Alone on Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2018

Valentine’s Day is a day filled with Hallmark cards, chocolate covered strawberries, red roses and special dining.  It’s a day to express our love and affection to those close to us.  Some of us have expectations that this day will be blissful, we may even receive that diamond ring that represents engagement or marriage.

Valentine’s Day can be a wonderful time if ...

Girls Basketball: Union Catholic Will Play In Game To Support Childhood Cancer

February 18, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The Union Catholic varsity girls basketball team is honored to be playing in the Gold-Out game at Bernards High School for the third straight year, a game that will raise money and awareness for Childhood Cancer.

The event, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m, is called the “Gold-Out’’ game because gold is the awareness color for Childhood Cancer.

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_ab8f5d9efb4317e5a445_hiawatha

Sun, February 18, 3:00 PM

Lawton C. Johnson Middle School , Summit

New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra Free ...

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, February 20, 1:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

Book Club @ Scotlib: The Japanese Lover by Isabel ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Tue, February 20, 6:00 PM

UCEDC, Cranford

Next Level Business Planning

Business & Finance